Google Analytics is undoubtedly the most popular platform. It is used by millions of websites to gather insight into their customers and visitors. The fact that it’s free does no harm to its reputation. Moreover, it belongs to the Google stable, which means that the GA horse is as good as any. However there are some privacy concerns which bother certain finicky websites owners. There are alternative Analytics solutions which provide a different view of user engagement.
Not all Analytics platforms are born equal. Some provide insight into the actions of visitors as they move around a website. The number of pages visited, time spent on each page, the place of abandonment and other factors reveal a lot about user behavior. On the other hand some Analytics platforms specialize on providing information about the demographics of visitors, IP address and other external parameters. Obviously, a single Analytics program cannot provide all the intelligence.
Three Alternatives to Google Analytics
Here are three alternatives to Google Analytics. They have been chosen keeping in mind their specific features and advantages.
This analytics program is for all those diehard open source fanatics (there are millions). What this means is that you can view the source code, modify it, optimize and customize it to your liking. Not everyone likes to tweak code. Frankly people who want an analytics tool are only interested in the results. The dashboard is all they care about. Piwik has a clean interface and nice looking dashboard which can provide you with an overview of the happenings inside your website. The dashboard is exhaustive and covers every aspect which an analyst may be interested in. It is highly customizable and easy to work with. The dashboard of Piwik is perhaps the most comprehensive, exhaustive and customizable compared to others.
Installation and setup of Piwik too is fairly easy. You can opt for getting this job done by a Piwik partner for a very small monetary consideration. You can get Piwik installed in your WordPress site by just adding a piece of code to the footer.
The sub functions include visitors, actions, referrers and goals. The visitor tab lets you understand visitor behavior while browsing your site like page views, time on page, searches and other parameters. The actions tab gives insight about bounce rates, page views, unique page view, exit rate etc. Referrers mean the web pages from which visitors are directed to the target site. For example, number of visitors from Google search and social media sites can be seen. This information can be used to modify your marketing strategy depending on the kind of visitors who seem to be interested in your site. Goals function is similar to Google Analytics but seems less extensive.
Piwik PRO is paid solution which includes cloud, enterprise and professional services. Piwik also has a free mobile app for iOS and Android phones
Overall, Piwik is a good alternative to google Analytics. It is also free.
Many users prefer Clicky over Google Analytics because of a couple of reasons. The most important feature of Clicky is real time analytics. Sometimes, spying on website visitors while they are online can be an effective means to conversions. Since the dynamics of user behavior can be analyzed on a real time basis, it gives a certain edge to the analysts who can direct visitors to a page of their choice. Obviously, such manipulation is extremely complex and requires great marketing skills.
This real time functionality leads to other concomitant benefits like observing visitor behavior through visual cues like heatmaps, which is another interesting feature of Clicky.
This widget based analytics software is versatile in the sense that plugins of Clicky are available for almost all CMS including WordPress and Joomla. It’s the only one providing Twitter analytics.
Clicky has simple and interface with intuitive installation and setup procedure. Alerts can be setup for various situations.
There are a lot of useful features for SEO freaks. Search rankings position for each visitor can be determined instantaneously. This information can assist in refining the SEO strategy. Real time visitor referrers permit website owners to know the entry point or websites from which they reach their site. With Clicky you can set dynamic goals. It also supports split testing.
Pricing of Clicky is a bit confusing. The free version allows 3000 page views per month without heatmap feature. This looks like a token gesture from Clicky developers, since even very small websites will exceed 3000 figure in a month. Other paid options are Pro, Pro Plus, Platinum and Custom.
Clicky is by far the most popular alternative to Google Analytics. The pricing is reasonable, if you take the diversity of features into consideration.
Woopra is a desktop application and not web based like Google Analytics. This has its own advantages and disadvantages. Woopra is a popular real time analytics solution which has been adopted by many well-known enterprises. There are four distinct features of Woopra.
Customer Profiles – This analytics package can track individual users or visitors in real time. You can follow user interaction click by click. Labels widget allows you to drill down to individual visitor. By using automation rules, it is possible to deliver personalized content to each visitor depending on their earlier website interactions. You can even initiate chat with a visitor to understand their requirements better.
Customized Reports – Woopra offers deep segmentation to understand user interaction and behavior. One of the important aspects of this is retention report. This provides information on visitors performing important function like making a purchase. In turn, this insight can be used to offer custom or tailor-made solutions to individual user.
Automation – With Woopra, you don’t require personal or human intervention to trigger events in response to certain actions by user. This enables you to provide customized content to users.
Appconnect – This feature of Woopra can be used to sync the analytics platform with other tools like WordPress, Dropbox etc.
Woopra has a free version with limited functionality. Paid schemes are available in various flavors including a customized enterprise version.
GA is by far the king of analytics and it is free, but even kings have their weaknesses. Some people are concerned with sharing too much information with Google and privacy issues. Piwik, Woopra and Clicky provide real time analytics which is useful for platforms like ecommerce website. The pricing structure for all of them is more or less similar and reasonable. As such, you can try them out and decide which analytics solution suits you best.